Yes, you're right, it has been a long while since our last post...When December came, well...we hit the ground running!
I've been wondering what to blog about since we've been closed and I thought that a good place to start was to take a look back to 2012...I think it's a great way to start the year fresh, when you can see what you've achieved in the year that is now gone... Last year I made a list of all that I wanted to achieve for the coming year...boring stuff like: Plan way ahead for any upcoming holidays, keep a waste log, increase our seasonal offerings, perfect the croissant production and more organizational stuff that I won't even bother going into, it was a pretty big list..and to be honest we did pretty good..YAY. I am very happy with the way our year went...we increased our bread production in the bakery, reduced our kitchen waste in the cafe, we now have a wider range of products in the deli, 3 times more cheese than when we started and was also selling more local veg from chemical free and organic farmers..
But now, it is time to start a new list of goals before we open for the 2013 season in March....before we go down that road, here is what 2012 looked like at Diva in pictures!
|the year started out with a new paint job and these cool chairs that I bought for 3 euro and painted and re-upholstered|
|My vision, Fiona and I worked on this floor for days, but sadly it didnt hold up to the busy cafe, and had to be replaced with a solid brown floor..|
The newly repainted hot pink sideboard, and my door for our new bar area
|Diva danishes...there's those lovely hand rolled croissants!|
This year we provided full service catering for two weddings, up from last year.
Although we do a lot of party catering and provided quite a few wedding cakes...it was really great to provide everything for our wedding clients!
We had 3 extra seats added in the cafe, and it really made a difference. the other change was that we moved all of the take away to the bakery..it made service during busy time at the cafe much easier.
in this photo, you can see the table in the back
we had two of our submissions the the Blas na hEireann Food Awards shortlisted, the chocolate cupcake selection box, which included the S'More cupcake, The Elvis, The Chocolate Chocolate and the Tuxedo Cupcake.
Also our sourdough Wheaten Loaf was shortlisted. Sadly we came home empty handed, but there is always this year! In 2011 we took home two silver awards for our Seeded Sourdough Boule and our Lemon Meringue Tart
This year I did my very first baking demo at the Lis Ard Festival and then again at Electric Picnic with The Theartre Of Food...I really enjoyed it and it was great to meet other people in the food industry doing great things! Thanks To VSC Productions and Sally and John McKenna from McKenna guides for organizing these events! I hope to do more this year
This year was the first year that we made fresh local berry jam to sell in the bakery..
I was so excited when it all sold! We were getting our berries from Rose Cottage Farms..
It was jam mania in the bakery for two months...will try to be more organized this year and add more of a variety of our fresh fruit jam...
Three years ago I bought this baby...and this year she got pimped out and was on the road...this year she will get her Diva graphics!
Look out Ireland Diva had gone mobile!
The plan is to use her for serving out of at weddings, markets etc.,
Another slice of Americana made its way onto the Diva Cafe menu!! My favourite sambo...The Reuben..I thought I would give it a whirl and it was so popular it stayed on the specials board for the rest of the season...
Our cupcakes getting ready to head down to Dingle for the Blas taste awards...We had a bakery staff outing for the awards, which took us to The Dingle Food and Wine Fest...a weekend of total indulgence and a few tears(remember we came home empty handed? just joking..there were no tears just a downer for a moment)
Halloween was fun in the village! We had our first Halloween Function in Ballinspittle...We learned a lot! Next year will be great
This picture was taken at a market I did in Cork City, the sunset on the way home was insane!
This brings us up to Turkey Day!! We ran our annual Thanksgiving Dinner in the Cafe..it was great, there were Americans who came all the way from Italy to have their Thanksgiving Dinner...they had been there 3 years before...it was so nice to see them again..Plus all of our 'regulars' the same people who have been coming since we started serving Thanksgiving Dinner 4 years ago
we may have come empty handed from the Blas Food Awards, but Roz Crowley from the Irish Examiner gave our mince pies a number one rating for the best mince pies in Cork and our Austrian Stollen second place for an alternative to christmas cake...needless to say, we sold more mince pies and stollen than any other year before!!
Here are a few last pictures to finish 2012...Thank you to everyone for your continued support!! We are looking forward to a great 2013 and I am hoping to cross more off of my list this year!